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William Bruce

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Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard


Private William Bruce


15412  8th Battalion Suffolk Regiment 


William Bruce was born in Layham, Suffolk around 1891.  He was the son of William C and Ann Bruce.  In 1891 the family were living at Rands Farm, Layham where his father was the farm bailiff.  By 1901 the family had moved to Abbas Hall, Great Cornard, where his father continued to be employed as a farm bailiff.  William had 8 known siblings, 4 brothers and 4 sisters.


He enlisted in Great Cornard and served with the Suffolk Regiment, in the same battalion as Arthur Bareham and Fred Carter.  He is recorded as having first served in ‘a theatre of war’ in France on 25th July 1915.


The 8th Battalion was a volunteer battalion.  In June 1916 it was moved to Carnoy, in the Somme sector to act as reserve in the forthcoming attack on the 1st July.  On 19th July the battalion sustained heavy casualties in an unsuccessful attack at Delville Wood (known by the soldiers as Devil Wood) at Longueval.


William was killed in action on 26th June 1916 less than two years after his younger brother Edgar lost his life serving in France.  William lies buried in Carnoy Military Cemetery, Somme, France.


William was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.


©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008